Children living in poverty essay

Source The photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made in February or March of in Nipomo, California. InLange gave this account of the experience: I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions.

Children living in poverty essay

Defeat in her eyes, Janet drops into a seat next to me with a sigh.

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But my hope is fading. No wonder the kids are unprepared to learn. I observed powerful moments of teaching and learning, caring and support. And I witnessed moments of internal conflict in Janet, when what she wanted to believe about her students collided with her prejudices.

Like most educators, Janet is determined to create an environment in which each student reaches his or her full potential. And like many of us, despite overflowing with good intentions, Janet has bought into the most common and dangerous myths about poverty.

Chief among these is the "culture of poverty" myth—the idea that poor people share more or less monolithic and predictable beliefs, values, and behaviors. For educators like Janet to be the best teachers they can be for all students, they need to challenge this myth and reach a deeper understanding of class and poverty.

Lewis based his thesis on his ethnographic studies of small Mexican communities. His studies uncovered approximately 50 attributes shared within these communities: Despite studying very small communities, Lewis extrapolated his findings to suggest a universal culture of poverty.

More than 45 years later, the premise of the culture of poverty paradigm remains the same: But just as important—especially in the age of data-driven decision making—he inspired a flood of research.

These studies raise a variety of questions and come to a variety of conclusions about poverty. But on this they all agree: There is no such thing as a culture of poverty. Differences in values and behaviors among poor people are just as great as those between poor and wealthy people.

In actuality, the culture of poverty concept is constructed from a collection of smaller stereotypes which, however false, seem to have crept into mainstream thinking as unquestioned fact.

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Poor people are unmotivated and have weak work ethics. Although poor people are often stereotyped as lazy, 83 percent of children from low-income families have at least one employed parent; close to 60 percent have at least one parent who works full-time and year-round National Center for Children in Poverty, In fact, the severe shortage of living-wage jobs means that many poor adults must work two, three, or four jobs.

According to the Economic Policy Institutepoor working adults spend more hours working each week than their wealthier counterparts. They are more likely to work multiple jobs, to work evenings, to have jobs without paid leave, and to be unable to afford child care and public transportation.

It might be said more accurately that schools that fail to take these considerations into account do not value the involvement of poor families as much as they value the involvement of other families. Poor people are linguistically deficient.

What often are assumed to be deficient varieties of English—Appalachian varieties, perhaps, or what some refer to as Black English Vernacular—are no less sophisticated than so-called "standard English.

Poor people tend to abuse drugs and alcohol. Poor people are no more likely than their wealthier counterparts to abuse alcohol or drugs.

Chen, Sheth, Krejci, and Wallace found that alcohol consumption is significantly higher among upper middle class white high school students than among poor black high school students.

In other words, considering alcohol and illicit drugs together, wealthy people are more likely than poor people to be substance abusers. The Culture of Classism The myth of a "culture of poverty" distracts us from a dangerous culture that does exist—the culture of classism. This culture continues to harden in our schools today.

It leads the most well intentioned of us, like my friend Janet, into low expectations for low-income students.

Children living in poverty essay

It makes teachers fear their most powerless pupils. And, worst of all, it diverts attention from what people in poverty do have in common: The most destructive tool of the culture of classism is deficit theory. In education, we often talk about the deficit perspective—defining students by their weaknesses rather than their strengths.

Deficit theory takes this attitude a step further, suggesting that poor people are poor because of their own moral and intellectual deficiencies Collins, Quotes, quotations, and sayings on materialism from living life fully.

The realities of poverty for American kids become clear when you know the facts. The federal “poverty line” in for a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids under age 17) is about $24, But social welfare researchers say it would take an income of about twice that amount to achieve basic financial security.

A closed school. Detroit, Wayne County, Mich. Population is , and % live below the poverty level. Unlike its sister city, Detroit, an hour away, which was home to the Big Three auto. Poverty can have profound detrimental effects on children's development.

Children living in poverty essay

Millions of children in the United States are living in poverty, with millions more considered as "low-income." Children from racial and ethnic minority groups, children from single-parent .

Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements.

Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, . As you can see, there are over a billion people living in poverty around the world.

America's stagnant poverty line. According to Howard Glennerster in "United States Poverty Studies and Poverty Measurement: The Past Twenty-Five Years," poverty has been a /5(81).

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